How to Immunize Your Workplace From Sexual Harassment

If your workplace is anything like mine, conversation about the flood of sexual harassment incidents has become a daily mainstay. My team’s ears are constantly perked for the next breaking story and there’s a shared sensation of not being able to look away. Our country and our workplaces are witnessing a sea change in how we understand the experiences of women at work; we’re learning a language for a new reality about the ills of a male-dominated environment.

As a female CEO with a half-female executive team, I take some solace in knowing my company has an environment drastically less likely to allow sexual harassment to spawn. Still I remain vigilant about—and urge my peer executives to be vigilant about—taking measures to immunize organizations against sexual harassment and conditions in which women do not feel in control of their economic lives and physical bodies.

The good news is there are proven strategies for safeguarding environments from sexual harassment—I’m not saying it’s going to be easy, but at least we know what we need to do.

Trainings and grievance reporting mechanisms are not the solution.

First, we have to acknowledge trainings and grievance reporting systems as purely cosmetic fixes that let executives off easy and do nothing to change the status quo. Our post-Anita Hill court system has institutionalized trainings and reporting systems as the go-to technique for mitigating harassment even though, as EEOC and labor experts Frank Dobbin and Alexandra Kalev explain in their recent Harvard Business Review  article,  “such programs have never been proven effective. [Executives] are satisfied as long as the courts are. They don’t bother to ask themselves whether the programs work.”

The fact is audits of such programs have found no evidence that they move the needle. Researchers have found however, that those most likely to be the worst offenders emerge from trainings with more deplorable attitudes toward women than those they entered with! And it gets worse. Dobbin and Kalev write in another article that when companies implement grievance procedures, the numbers of women of color in management and non-management roles goes significantly down. And the most dismaying fact about grievance procedures is that they put the responsibility for solving the problem on the harassed employee.

So—what is proven to work?

The solution is to hire and promote more women.

Research consistently shows that harassment flourishes in workplaces where men dominate and women have little power. The tech industry offers stark example of this power imbalance. Promoting women to leadership at greater rates is the only way to rectify the imbalance of pay and power that gives men unchecked control over female workers.

Secondly, having a gender balance in “core” or non-management roles is equally crucial. Harassment occurs significantly less often in industries and workplaces where women are well represented.

Hiring more women takes work, but the good news is we know how to do it. First, make sure you’re attracting women at equal rates as men with job advertisements that use inclusive language and illustrate a collaborative, supportive work environment. Then, make sure that qualified women make it through the resume screen by having managers look at resumes with the names anonymized and without cues of gender. Lastly, set your interviewers up for success by putting in place structured, consistent interview practices which have been shown to be twice as effective at selecting the right candidate as ad hoc interviews.


If you’re serious about ending workplace sexual harassment, you have to get serious about workplace diversity. It’s that simple.



ServiceNow 2018 HR Predictions – The Year of the Employee

Author: Jen Stroud, HR Evangelist & Transformation Lead at ServiceNow

  • The Candidate Experience will continue to be a top priority for organizations as HR leaders battle for the best available talent.  Talent leaders will need to find new technology solutions to attract, engage and motivate candidates to join their organization.  While onboarding will continue to be something HR leaders will focus on improving, more and more the emphasis will be on pre-boarding and how to create a WOW experience before Day 1.  Reducing or eliminating the administrative burden for candidates will go a long way in helping organizations reach their recruitment goals.  The challenge in 2018 will be for HR leaders to extend the WOW candidate experience to the employee experience.


  • In line with the above, the Employee Experience will continue to grow in terms of a popular and critical focus area for HR leaders in 2018.  Employee experience took off in 2017 as a hot topic but will gain significant momentum in 2018 as CEOs, CHROs and CIOs understand how they must work together to create a work environment that not only attracts talent but helps keep talent engaged and productive longer.  PRODUCTIVITY and how to maximize it will be a key buzz word in 2018.  Addressing “Employee Experience” and “Employee Productivity” will move from being optional strategic initiatives to corporate imperatives as leaders look to the consumer market for inspiration.  The top questions HR leaders will be asking themselves and their teams are “What are we doing to improve the employee experience?” and “Are we making it easier for employees to be employees?”


  • We will see an increase in Enterprise Service Centers vs. HR or Department Portals as executives understand that the best way to create a best in class employee experience is to have a single place for their employees to go for all their information and service/support needs.  It is no longer about Employee Self Service as organizations will need to do more than that to engage talent.  Service Centers will need to be comprehensive and include multiple ways to engage with employees.  To this end, ensuring that employees also have mobile options available to them will soar in 2018 as critically important.

Jen Stroud, HR Evangelist & Transformation Leader, ServiceNow

  • 2018 – The Year of the Employee!!!!  In line with the focus on employee experience, the EMPLOYEE will take center stage as a key focal point for CEOs and CHROs much as the CUSTOMER has in the past.   Leaders will gravitate toward solutions that will delight their most critical asset as they understand that the best way to improve their bottom line is to improve their employee experience.  One of the key areas of employee experience that leaders will need to come to terms with in 2018 is a continued shift to working remotely or from “home”.  Employees will be looking for creating more work/life balance and one of the best ways to achieve this is to offer easy ways to work outside of a traditional bricks & mortar location.


  • While organizations will become more and more employee-centric, we will likely see a decline in full-time employment and an increase in people who will work on a contract basis for shorter periods of time as well as a significant increase in employees working remotely.  Being able to connect with and continuously engage with these employees will be critically important for HR as well as other corporate executives.


  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been a very hot topic in 2017 and this will continue to be the case in 2018 as advancements in AI capabilities grow in the coming 12 months.  To prepare for the ability to fully leverage AI, we will see an increase in digital transformations in HR and across the enterprise.  Leaders will continue to recognize that AI will not be an effective solution unless and until their “house” is in order.  Therefore, streamlining and automating work will take a priority.

Artificial Intelligence trends become today’s HR realities

The emergence of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies in the past years has profoundly impacted a tremendous number of companies and sectors. Take the example of supply chain functions – these have been completely reshaped and fully robotized warehouses are now the new standard. In parallel, other support or corporate functions have also caught this technological wave, but not with the same speed and pace. Human Resources today are the perfect illustration: the shift towards Digital HR has started for pioneer organizations, but the majority of companies are still in the reflection and conceptualization stages. On one hand, there is an overwhelming feeling related to the immensity of ‘the possible’ in terms of HR technology offerings, and on the other hand, there is a need to answer growing expectations from an evolving workforce.

Today, HR C-levels are facing a common main equation: Ensuring that HR roadmaps will become even more relevant in the C-suite and help streamlining organizations while improving the employee’s experience.

But how are AI technologies concretely impacting the HR community?

Beyond the reflection and conceptualization stages mentioned earlier, AI is clearly acknowledged as a critical component of the future HR service delivery model. Most of discussions today are about how to incorporate chatbots, robots or other cognitive solutions within Human Resources departments.

Just to name a few examples:

  • Robotic process automation (RPA) is a new norm today. Any process optimization exercise almost always considers robotic automation as a solution. In this context, almost all HR processes are subject to automation. The main recurring ones that we observe are related to recruitment, core HR administration, compensation, payroll and performance, but all HR processes that require significant manual input are candidates for automation.
  • Chatbots are also getting a lot of traction. For example, in the HR space, chatbots are replacing traditional FAQs. Cognitive chatbots can also be trained by humans in order to improve their correct answer rate. This is a real game changer and robust accelerator to change the employee experience.
  • Robots are less and less considered as exhibition gadgets and can now be found in some HR front office departments.
  • Voice assistants on mobile for any employee, anytime, anywhere are becoming more common – say hello to the new HR ‘Siri’. A vacation request for example can then be part of a quick phone conversation, instead of several less efficient transactions involving HR systems and emails.
Gartner Emerging technologies 2017

What we are observing, is that AI technologies are becoming fully embedded within the HR community. The initial doubts and fears have been overcome by most HR professionals and AI is recognized as a real added value to the employee. The HR operating model shift is ongoing and we are only at the early stages as the technological change is evolving at an exponential speed. Tomorrow new Artificial Intelligence offerings will emerge and will continue to reshape HR departments.

Marketing Technology: How to Modernize Your Advertising

Marketing Technology: How to Modernize Your Advertising

Online platforms have revolutionized the marketing industry and have proven to be quite the game changer for advertising products. However, marketing tools are constantly evolving, so it is important for companies to always update their strategy by keeping up with the latest gadgets and software tools.

To take the brand to the next level, a business should apply diverse marketing services that focus on different aspects. Traditional methods focused on television and radio commercials as well as newspaper ads or simply putting marketing material in a mailbox and hoping for the best do not work anymore.

Though advertising via television can still have some impact, there are numerous digital marketing strategies that can have a more direct and closer influence on the public.

Modernize Your Advertising Strategy

Marketing technology offers several ways for the business to be seen on the digital media. First of all, it is crucial to build a website that provides information about the company which can be easily found via smartphone.

Around 50% of mobile searches end with a purchase, not to mention the benefits of tablet and computer browsing, but you need to make sure that your site comes up on the first search engine results page. This is why you should hire an expert or a marketing company for search engine optimization (SEO).

To make the brand stand out from the others, create a creative and memorable business logo and use visually attractive colors. Visual aids are 43% more effective, as 90% of our knowledge is influenced by them. Alluring images and videos improves the business campaign and attracts more customers.

Another helpful way to start with online advertising is by posting ads on popular social media sites. For creating a successful social strategy, your marketing team should be familiar with each platform and focus on engaging your target audience. Following are the most popular social media websites:

  • Facebook – The biggest social platform with a billion active users. An excellent opportunity to connect with people from all over the world and make a global impact.
  • Twitter – For sharing updates, images, videos and links. It is one of the top 10 websites in the United States, with over 300,000,000 active users.
  • Instagram & Pinterest – Two excellent social media platforms for sharing photo and video content.
  • YouTube – With over a billion users, YouTube is a great way to spread your brand message via video, offer tutorials and other useful information and make money along the way.
  • Snapchat – This app is specifically designed for mobile devices, with content disappearing after 24 hours. The application gives you the chance to see how many specific users have viewed the post, while the pressure of polished content is removed as the post disappears at the end of the day.


Get More Involved

After completing the initial steps, now is time to engage with your audience. Using the latest marketing technology is not just about promoting the business, but also being involved with the customers.

A company should pay attention to the language it uses in its branding and the message it sends, and there are several steps for developing a better connection with social media platform users:

  1. Not every post should be about the business – The message can get lost if the network is jammed with continuous posts about your business offerings. The company needs to be involved with the community and share valuable content to keep the interest of the followers.  
  2. Share the expertise – People love eye-openers. Provide and share the knowledge and helpful facts on interesting topics. Provide a better insight on the business and its message. Encourage people to vote, leave feedback and ask questions.
  3. Online reviews and ratings – Create a profile on review sites. Based on the online reviews and overall rating, a company can thrive or sink. It gives added value to established businesses and a unique opportunity to gain insight on customer demands. In addition, if the rating is high, it is a great form of social proof that can be shared on other social media to boost your reputation.
  4. Facebook live – Streaming live special events make your loyal customers feel like they are a part of a community and that their favorite brand values their opinion.
  5. Business organizations – Organizing events covered with by both online and traditional media and news will raise the company’s presence, as well as improve the moral of the employees.


Helpful Tools of Marketing Technology

Although adopting the cutting-edge tools of marketing technology may seem intimidating, they are actually a precious commodity. Depending on the business model, whether it is B2B (selling products or services business to business) or B2C (business to customer), there are software products applicable for every category:

  • Marketing automation – Repetitive tasks such as social media marketing and website maintenance can be simplified by use of marketing automation.
  • Tag Management – A tag manager can enhance your online marketing performance by including numerous tags on trending websites.
  • CDN (Content Delivery Network) – Ensures a faster online respond and downloading time for customers.  
  • DMP (Data Management Platform) – An excellent software tool for storing information.
  • CRM (Customer Relationship Manager) – A program for organizing and synchronizing marketing, sales, technical and customer support.
  • Analytics & Tracking – Track the overall business performance and all of the latest developments.
  • SEO – Search engine optimization for positioning your site near the top of the first page in SERPs.
  • Mobile Optimization – For creating an easy-to-navigate website for increasing smartphones purchases.
  • Remarketing – The same ads popping up on different websites for attracting the people who already searched for your or a similar company’s products.
  • Email Marketing – For sending periodical business offerings and valuable content directly to your customers’ email.

In this day and age, a company must use cutting-edge marketing technology to stay on top and keep up with the competition. It is crucial for a solid business plan to include the means that will improve the quality and performance of your online marketing.

Staying in tune with your customers helps to spread your unique brand message and raise awareness about your company. In addition, it creates a good impression, which will attract potential customers. 

The Majority of Americans Believe Their Workspace Negatively Impacts Their Well-being. Here’s How To Fix It.

From the worsening obesity epidemic to stress levels continuing to rise, American employees are struggling with their wellbeing. New research shows that a shocking 64% of American workers believe that their employer and workplace are having a negative or very negative impact on their wellbeing. But what’s behind this alarming statistic? And what can businesses do about it?

When it comes to employee wellness and the employee experience, we found that forward-thinking organizations are recognizing their employees’ needs and addressing them through dynamic benefits programs that support them in and outside of the workplace. Research shows that they’re reaping rewards for this. Bersin by Deloitte finds that organizations focused on creating a flexible and empowering workplace experience are five times more effective at improving employee engagement and retention than their peers. Meanwhile, businesses that do not tailor the employee experience to support their workers will find themselves left behind. Companies that do want to gain a competitive advantage should focus on establishing a wellness program, looking for ways to go beyond traditional benefits, and digitizing the HR process.

Establish a wellness program

Wellbeing initiatives can take many forms, but flexible wellness pots, which enable employees to spend a wellbeing allowance in a way that suits them, are gaining in popularity. In a world where employees increasingly wish to be recognized as individuals, this approach enables organizations to cater for their personal preferences, be they for a diet program or meditation class. Surveying employees can also help to determine which wellness benefits they would value most, gym memberships for example, or counseling services to support them in times of need.

Nick Lawry, Reward Manager at Virgin Management, believes that benefits have never been more vital in ensuring the wellbeing and peace of mind of employees, notably as part of offering a fantastic employee experience. From offering financial education through to super flexible working and unlimited annual leave, they try to give people the benefits and the flexibility that allow them to take control and make the choices that are best for them.

Go beyond traditional

Promoting holistic employee wellness demands going beyond just health and fitness benefits. Financial concerns can have a significant negative impact on the mental health of employees – one Harris poll found that 82% of employees are under financial stress. Our research also indicates that they would appreciate having personal goals in this area of their lives supported by their employers. Outside of salary and retirement plans, employees would like employers to support broader financial needs, such as saving to buy a home or debt management. When we consider that over half of US employees aspire to buy a home, but less than one in twenty benefits programs cater for this life goal, the opportunity for employers to seize the initiative and support this need is clear.

Having flexible benefits that are customized to employee life goals sets companies apart and transforms them into great places to work. Pharmaceutical innovators Mundipharma recognized this, and in addition to its core benefits, launched a new range aligned to its employees’ lifestyles and designed to give them more choice. This additional selection ‘pot’ of benefits, called “Flex”, achieved staggering results. Since the rollout of Flex, 96% of employees have ‘flexed’ their benefits and employee turnover has reduced by 45% within 18 months. Meanwhile, the time to fill job openings has reduced from 50-days on average to just 28. Perhaps most importantly, engagement also improved and 90% of those who flexed their benefits regularly said they’d still “be working here in a year’s time.”

Digitize the benefits process

Employees are looking for an employer who will make a positive impact on their day-to-day lives. For companies to accomplish this, HR departments need to spend more time on transformational activities that focus on culture, engagement and employer brand. HR can free up time for this by automating and digitizing more processes. This is one of the reasons adoption of global and regional shared service centers as well as global human capital management (HCM) and global benefits technology are all on the rise. Working with top companies around the globe, I’ve seen firsthand what having a more digitized, globally-driven strategy that’s better aligned with people and business strategy can do. Achieve this, and organizations won’t just reduce admin and improve compliance – they’ll see an increase in benefits engagement, which will domino into workplace engagement, and have a positive impact on how employees feel about their organizations.

Companies with an established global benefits strategy and technology that supports the implementation of this are three times more likely to see a reduction in administration errors and twice as likely to see a reduction in benefits overcharges. The implementation of those benefits further help the company’s bottom line by creating a positive, supportive working environment that reduces the current disconnect between employers and employees around the workplace experience, attracting and retaining staff for the long haul.

Ultimately, the best companies are creating amazing global strategies and have the technology in place to deliver these so that employees really feel the benefits. They’re happier and healthier and they enjoy being at work. This is what will keep them an engaged and productive member of your organization.

How to Keep Your Best Tech Employees

In today’s business world, where main focus revolves around technology and its advancements, having employees with exceptional knowledge about information technologies is truly a valuable asset. Every company that manages to get their hands on such tech talent will have an advantage in the market.

However, these employees require a work environment and conditions that suit them the best, in order to remain engaged for the company they work for. That’s why you need to find the best way to make your top tech employees happy and ensure the means of their retention. Here are a few way to keep your best tech employees.

Challenge them

A lot of tasks need to be completed in order for a business to succeed, but if your best tech employees get stuck doing mundane tasks, they won’t be too happy about it. That’s’ why you need to challenge them and assign them to projects that will truly put their expertise to the test. Your best teach employees will appreciate the fact that you lean on their skills to solve complex issues.

Not only will they feel a sense of accomplishment once they finish the project, but they’ll also have means to put their minds to work and find solutions to the most difficult problems. In addition, these tasks will help your tech employees hone their skills and maybe even learn new ones along the way.

Reward them accordingly

If you want to keep your best tech employees, you need to be proactive and reward them for their hard work before they come to you seeking recognition. Even though money is a good motivator, it’s not always a top priority for some employees. Rewarding employees doesn’t always have to be about raising their paycheck. You can also choose more personal rewards that will showcase your appreciation.

Sometimes those rewards can be small tokens, such as T-shirts, such as custom pens, and coffee mugs which will remind your employees that you haven’t forgotten about them. On the other hand, you can also choose something more valuable, such as paid weekends for two at a resort or a spa, extended vacation days and other rewards for completing difficult projects or reaching an important business goal.

Praise their value

If you have tech employees with an exceptional talent, make sure you let them know how valuable they are to your company. That way, your tech employees will know that all the hard work they’ve been doing isn’t going unnoticed and that you recognize their contribution to the overall business success.

Also, praise your tech employees in front of other employees, so that others may become inspired to follow in their colleague’s footsteps. However, if some of your employees don’t like public praise, then try to find a more subtle approach to let them know just how important they are to your organization.


Their work-life balance is important

Relying on your best tech employees for difficult tasks means you’re giving them a lot of responsibility. However, you can’t expect your employees to sacrifice their personal lives for the sake of work. Many good tech employees will be engaged towards their job responsibilities, but they also need time and space to have a normal everyday life. In order to let your tech employees develop a good work-life balance, allow them to have the flexibility they need.

For instance, let them choose working hours if it’s going to help them out, as long as they complete the tasks for the day. Also, let them work from home for a few days if they need it. Furthermore, when they take a day off, let them disengage from work completely. That means you shouldn’t disturb employees on their day off whenever an issue pops up.

Involve them in decision making

Your managers might know a lot about doing business and delegating tasks among employees, but your top tech employees may have important insight into matters as well. Don’t hesitate to involve your best talent in decision making. After all, they may see something your upper management missed.

In addition, asking top employees for their feedback and opinions is a good way to show appreciation and also show them that their opinions are in fact important and valuable to you. Furthermore, your top tech employees have knowledge and expertise that may give you an advantage in the market. Their unique viewpoint may give you a new angle to further develop and grow your business.

Having highly talented tech workers is truly an asset to any organization. Just make sure your top tech employees can do their job unhindered and that they know their hard work is appreciated. That way, you’ll be able to retain them with ease.

Beginning Your Journey: Migrating from SAP On-Premise to Employee Central in the Cloud

Written by Michael White, Technology Director at Hula Partners.

As companies begin transitioning to the cloud, we are getting a lot of questions around how to migrate to Employee Central from on premise SAP system effectively. What are the key questions to address prior to making the leap to the cloud and what are the important considerations needed in the process? Throughout this blog, I will address these questions today in order to alleviate some of the mystery surrounding this process.

The first and most important question you must ask as an organization is if you plan on keeping your SAP on premise system up to date with the data from Employee Central, or will you retire it at go-live? In my experience, many customers choose to keep their legacy SAP environment due to the number of existing integrations that would need to be reproduced and signed off in Employee Central. This is a daunting task as part of the initial rollout and requires coordination with many different vendors and their individual testing requirements. Thus, the lowest risk approach is to replicate data from Employee Central back to legacy SAP and let the existing integrations and payroll processing run as they do today. You can then replace the integrations and payroll over time as separate projects, where the risk is more manageable.

Next, you must decide as an organization if you want to roll out the entire employee population in one big bang or, if you will take a phased approach.

Core Hybrid

If you plan on having everyone go live at the same time, then you are looking at a “Core Hybrid” approach to your data replication back to legacy SAP. This means that Employee Central is the system of record for all employees and the employee data only flows in one direction (EC -> SAP). This simplifies the replication process greatly as you don’t have to deal with transfers between live and non-live populations. This also means that data migration, conversion, validation, and regulatory approval must be acquired globally for go live. Switching to a phased rollout later on is not recommended as it will require a total redesign of your approach and replication process. My biggest piece of advice for this approach is to begin your mapping process as early as possible. Specifically, begin thinking through the desired future data model you want to have in EC vs. the current data model in SAP. There are a few key elements to check in this mapping and design decisions need made with conversions between the systems in mind. All of the following mappings must be able to convert seamlessly between EC and SAP. If there is ambiguity, it can cause issues later with the SAP configuration for valid dropdown values based on area/subarea and group/subgroup groupings on the SAP side:

1.   Employee Group/Subgroup to WorkAgreementAdminCategoryCode/WorkAgreementTypeCode

2.   Company Code/Personnel Area/Personnel Subarea to Company/Location

3.   Action/Reason to PersonnelEventTypeCode/ PersonnelEventReasonCode

4.   Pay component frequency in Employee Central to Payroll Area frequency in SAP

NOTE:  The payment frequency (Hourly, Bi-weekly, Monthly, etc.) coming from Employee Central is validated against the payroll area frequency used in SAP. We’ve encountered and created workarounds to this validation for customers where these could not be aligned.

These values must be able to convert in both directions if you are going to successfully perform data conversion and load for go-live as well as ongoing replication of data from EC back to legacy SAP. Be especially careful of a single EC event type/reason mapping to multiple SAP action/reasons based on other attributes or context. If a single event is mapped to hire, rehire, and job change for instance, it will cause replication issues with the SAP validation checks for existing employees and status changes.


Alternatively, if instead, you plan on a phased rollout with different waves of employees going live at different points then you are looking at a “Side-by-Side” approach to your replication process. This means that for the live population Employee Central is the system of record and will replicate employees down to legacy SAP (EC -> SAP). However, for the non-live population you will maintain SAP as the system of record and transfer the employees to Employee Central using either web service integration or file extracts (SAP -> EC). All of the mapping decision points referenced above will still apply to this process. If this is your approach, the recommendation is to split your population by company or country for the phases. The replication configuration allows you to specify which companies and countries to feed to legacy SAP. In addition, you can also configure the allowed countries as part of the SAP inbound logic to filter out countries that are not in scope. Any employee records that are in a non-live country/company will be dropped from the replication in this manner, however you still need a way to send the SAP data for those employees back to Employee Central. There are several ways to accomplish this, such as leveraging the standard SAP extraction templates or writing your own custom code to extract templates in CSV format for transfer via SFTP. Alternatively, you can leverage the web service integration delivered by SAP to transfer employee data. SAP is working on expanding the configuration capabilities of this interface to handle custom relationships and other data you may want to export by giving you the ability to write your own extract logic to map to an EC field. I have seen the demo of this and it will be a very powerful addition to the integration capabilities to get more real time data transfer. In either approach, you must filter the employees sent over by the inverse set of companies/countries as the live population to avoid any circular employee updates from the change pointers. Additionally, there is a more complex scenario addressing how to transfer employees from live to non-live or vice versa. I will cover this more in depth in another blog post.

In summary, you need to decide on your approach early as it affects the replication scope between Employee Central and SAP greatly. There are also impacts to your configuration and customization requirements to facilitate the selected approach. I referenced several critical mappings that you need to have ironed out early in your design process to avoid headaches later. These are the most common causes of replication related errors between the systems, so having a solid data model mapping up front will eliminate those issues later on. Finally, if you decide on a phased rollout, then you will need to break your population up by company or country in order to prevent employees from the non-live population from being sent. Hopefully this post has been informative and started the requirements gathering process for your organization. I will be posting a subsequent article on Side-by-Side integrations and some of the pitfalls to avoid in my next blog post. If you have questions or want to follow up with Hula Partners, please contact me at

Source: Beginning Your Journey: Migrating from SAP On-Premise to Employee Central in the Cloud

Continue reading for Part 2: Beginning Your Journey: Migrating From SAP On Premise to Employee Central in the Cloud, Part 2


5 Things to Watch Out For in Preparing For Your Employee Central Project

Written by Randy Stenberg, HCM Consultant at Hula Partners.

Now that your company has decided to implement Employee Central, it is time to prep for your implementation. Based on my personal experiences, here are 5 areas to consider focusing one during your project preparation. Focusing on these will help to smooth out your Employee Central journey.

1.     Get ready, get set; I didn’t say get comfortable.

The journey you are about to embark on takes longer and will be considerably more difficult than you first considered. Being prepared and flexible is key to your success.

Some may believe that an EC implementation is easy. A sales person’s pitch may have swayed you, or the notion of no hardware to set up, and no software to install; Easy Street, right? Beware! Don’t fall into that trap. Sure, some aspects of EC configuration are simple as compare to SAP on-premise. However, the underlying business processes remain the same. These processes can be overly complex due to piling on additional requirements over the years enabled by a customizable on-premise system. Untangling and simplifying these processes can be enticing and can certainly provide benefit but be aware of the cost; process redesign and optimization have costs in terms of project resources and project timeline. Plan accordingly and make sure the ROI will justify the additional demands on your project’s resources.

2.     Project Management Office (PMO) is very important.

Completing a proper project planning exercise is key. For example, include a detailed project plan. Your resources should be identified and freed up to work as appropriate, as soon as possible. This plan should set the expectations for your resources and should be realistic based on budget and timeline with built-in contingencies as a buffer.

Tip #1: Be certain that your partner resources are experienced and certified so that they are properly trained for your project. If not, this could affect your timeline and plan as a whole.

Tip #2: Include plenty of contingency into the project plan – you will use it.

Governance and controls are important pieces of PMO.  This includes handling scope creep. Ding ding ding! This is one of the biggest areas that can lead to a project getting off the rails. Based on my experience, scope is something that must be managed very closely and have a clearly defined escalation path determined early on during the project so that during a crisis everyone knows what to do with new items.  These items can include defects, missed requirements, and gaps in processes. Clients and partners must realize that scope creep is something that should be recognized, reported and avoided.

Your implementation partner should provide you with a project manager that is 100% dedicated to your project. This may add some cost; think of it as relatively cheap insurance. As the client, you should make sure that your internal project manager is at least 50% focused on the implementation. Your PM is critical in navigating through company bureaucracies and working with internal audit departments as needed.

3.     IT is critical.

Make sure key IT resources are fully engaged stakeholders on the project.  From what I have seen, this is sometimes not the case.  IT is generally an afterthought, but should be an equal party to the project.

4.     Change management is important throughout the entire project and after go-live.

Consider bringing on Change Management experts. Your EC partner is probably not an expert in this field, so consider someone or a team that is focused on just this.

Your communication should have consistent cadence and message to the stakeholder community during the project and after go-live. As for training, it is best to have both online and in-person classes, as well as quick reference guides for continued learning.

5.     Do NOT underestimate testing. You will always need more time, so build in contingency.

Your implementation partner should manage the initial test phases such as integration testing, end-to-end process testing and payroll parallel if required. As the project progresses through the test phases expect your participation to scale up. You should assume complete responsibility for UAT (User Acceptance Test). This is your chance to confirm that the application is working as per your business requirements.  You will most likely need some help since you are not certified professionals, as your consultants should be, in using the system. You may find it difficult to write test scripts from scratch so ask your partner to provide a library of scripts that you can pick from and customize as needed.

Tip #3:  UAT is the time where gaps in processes, defects, and new requirements may surface. Make sure that you handle these swiftly per your defined PMO process so as not to derail your project.

Preparing for a project can be a daunting task. But, if you take these considerations in to your planning, you will have a much easier and smoother implementation.

If you have any further questions or would like to discuss further, you can contact me at

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How to build an Effective Employee Brand Ambassador Program

employee brand ambassador

All companies want effective brand ambassadors. They are constantly searching for individuals who will help them in getting a positive image for the company.

Brand ambassadors help to glorify the image of the brand and also reach out to the majority of consumers out there. They make new consumers aware about the brand and also successfully retain old ones also.

Employees should also be encouraged to spread the word about your company as they are the ones most closely associated with your brand. When employees start talking and chatting about your company on social media, they will share a perspective native to humans which people tend to gravitate to naturally. They will share vital information about your company and the brand which you operate.

Employee brand ambassador programs are a successful part of a marketing technique. You should be able to identify the correct employees who are actively taking part in the interest of your company. You should also be able to do some ground work beforehand. Gather information about employees who are natural sincere leaders and who are being an asset to the company. Read on to find out more about how you can successfully create and implement an employee brand ambassador program.

Assigning and choosing the right leaders

You should at first nominate a captain from the work force. A captain would be someone who will be willing to take the reins of the program in his/her own hands. This pHR Analytics is one of the main HR and Recruiting trends in 2017. However, it is also a very complex topic and I got the impression that most people do not really know what it is about and why it got so important. It’s high time to speak to an expert in this field.erson would be someone who can effortlessly guide other people who are already familiar with the ropes. The leader will provide a common aspect and vision. He/she will also coach and train employees and oversee all online content before they get posted. The ideal or prospective leaders of your organisation can also be identified with the help of a leadership assessment.

Communicating your vision

The second is to implement the vision your company upholds to everyone. Your employees should be able to communicate with one another over social media about new practices and techniques. Then only will employees feel empowered and secure. Proper communication among employees, employers and captains will lead to greater results.

Feel free to share your expectations with them

You should properly communicate with your employees about what you want and how you want it. Nothing can be successful without proper guidelines. You should make your employees under the program follow a certain set of rules. Following a proper method and structure will help you in progressing with the program. The more strictly they will follow; the better will be the output. Sit with your captain and draw out a proper blueprint of all the activities you want done.

You should keep materials and resources readily available

Your social media should have all the collected ideas, posts, photos, videos, articles and other contents which your employees can use in their posts. You should properly manage all social media content and ensure that your employees receive the information fast. Also make it known to all your employees that they can feel free to share and make use of any information they might like. Proper use of your company’s content will result in communicating and reaching out to a wide member of the audience.

Cronofy Interview Scheduling Survey Results 2017


We recently polled 33 HR professionals to find out more about their interview scheduling experiences, and to understand how calendar sync can help them save time and acquire talent faster. They range from HR managers to internal and external recruiters; some work for SMEs, while others work for large organizations.

We were surprised to discover that many of the main issues our respondents faced were the same whether they worked for a small or large company. From conflicting appointments to waiting to hear back from someone, there are just some issues that are universal.

Key findings

  • 60% of companies take over 1 month to hire a candidate to fill a vacancy
  • 56% of recruiters spend more than a full working day scheduling interviews for a vacancy
  • 61% of respondents said interviews regularly clash with other commitments

Time to hire

The average time to hire varied greatly. One person said that their time to hire is less than a week (nicely done – what’s your secret?), 36% said it takes them 2-4 weeks, and a further 36% said that it takes them 1-2 months. 24% said that it takes them more than two months to hire.

It took larger organizations a little longer to hire than SMEs, which is to be expected. Bigger companies usually have more people involved in the recruitment process and this can translate into more interviews.

However, there were some SMEs that took over two months to hire for a new role, too. This is a reflection of how important it is for smaller companies to find the right fit. When you have a small team, one person can make a huge difference.

The longer a company takes to hire, the more likely the best candidates are to go to a competitor or to pull out because the process is taking too long. When a business doesn’t hire the best talent, it can slow its growth, too.

A drawn out hiring process can make a company look disorganized and impact the employer’s brand. The faster and more straightforward your hiring process is, the more attractive you are to new hires and the stronger your employer brand will be. If you have a positive candidate experience, even unsuccessful candidates may share their experiences on sites like Glassdoor.

Interview scheduling

When it came to the average time to schedule interviews, the difference between answers was even more pronounced.

The fastest time to schedule interviews was 1-2 hours, with 22% of people saying that’s how long it took them. 19% said it took them 2-6 hours, and 25% said it took between 6-10 hours, which is a full working day!

A further 25% said it took them a whole two days to schedule interviews.

It doesn’t stop there, either.

6% of people said it took them a week to schedule interviews, and one person said it took them over two weeks to get everyone’s schedules synced! Two weeks to schedule interviews! Just think what you could achieve with all that time if you weren’t constantly chasing people.

Calendar sync helps to speed up this process by letting candidates book their interview in their own time. An interview panel can block out times when they are available to meet candidates, and candidates can then choose from the list in their own time. Once a candidate has chosen a time, it’s removed from the list of options offered to other candidates to prevent any double-bookings. The interview panel’s calendars are then updated with the new interview, and candidates can add the booking to their own calendar, too.

Commitment clashes

One thing we didn’t expect was the number of people that said that interviews often clash with other events or commitments. 60% said that this happens on a regular basis.

This is why so many businesses are now embracing calendar sync. Calendar sync ensures that when you schedule an interview, it won’t clash with another calendar appointment, either in your calendar or in your colleagues’ schedules. Everyone’s real-time availability is visible from the start so that you know when everyone is available for interview.

Candidate no-shows

72% said that it was uncommon for candidates to not show up for an interview. 21% said that candidates sometimes don’t show up, and 6% said that it’s a regular occurrence.

This shows that – most of the time – recruiters are great at filtering CVs and finding candidates who are not only qualified, but also genuinely interested in, the role they applied for.

However, if 25% of recruiters have experienced a no-show, that’s something that also need to be addressed. Real-time calendar sync allows businesses to be notified when calendar invites are accepted, deleted, or moved. This can be integrated into workflows to prevent miscommunications. For example, if a candidate doesn’t accept a calendar invite, an email or text can be sent automatically to confirm their availability.

Other scheduling issues

We also asked if there were any other interview scheduling issues you faced. There were many. Listed below are the three most common. Other issues highlighted include trying to fit interviews in around office hours when candidates request an early/late interview, and finding alternative start dates when a candidate is on holiday.

Time zone conflicts

The issue that came up the most was factoring in multiple time zones when scheduling interviews. This can be difficult when hiring a new team overseas, especially if not all of the members of the interview panel are based in the same time zone. More and more interviews can be conducted remotely, but if the booking system doesn’t account for time zones it can turn a simple process into a complicated one fast.

Calendar sync through a Calendar API ensures that the booking system will be able to detect or specify the time zones the invites are sent from, meaning that nobody gets an interview scheduled for three o’clock in the morning.

Last-minute changes

Another issue was frequent or last-minute changes, either on the part of the candidate or the interview panel. This can cause huge inconveniences for everyone involved. It can result in delays, causing a longer time to hire. It’s frustrating for candidates who’ve booked paid time off to go to their interview, and it’s frustrating for interview panel members because it increases the cost of hiring and means the company has a vacancy for longer.

We can’t predict emergencies that get in the way, but some scheduling conflicts we’re aware of in advance. Using calendar sync to connect your booking software or Applicant Tracking Systems to internal and external calendars becomes really useful in this situation. Candidates can be notified of changes in real-time and reschedule their interviews without having to call or start another email chain. Their previous interview slot can then be re-opened for other interviews or appointments.

Meeting rooms and resources

Getting the right meeting room in a busy building can require as much coordinating as the interview itself.

When you interview a candidate, the right meeting room is crucial. After all, a candidate interviews the company as much as you interview them. A poor experience puts them off and means you could lose out on your favorite candidate. A clean, modern, spacious meeting room, meanwhile, suggests a modern, welcoming working environment that any candidate would be lucky to be a part of.

Things are even more complicated if candidates are required to do a presentation as part of their interview. How can you guarantee a room with a screen will be available, or that there’ll be an external screen available as an alternative?

In a busy office building, if you don’t reserve a room in advance, you could end up with a candidate and nowhere to interview them. Creating calendars for your bookable rooms and resources makes it easier than ever for hiring managers to coordinate everyone and everything required for an interview.


Some of these are small – and seemingly simple – tasks, but when you put them together they create big problems. Each task needs to be completed for each interview, meaning that hiring managers can waste hours coordinating everyone and everything. It’s a huge time sink, and it’s impractical.

Calendar sync can solve all these problems and more. In the twenty first century, there’s really no good reason why interviews should clash with other events, or why you should struggle to find the right meeting room and equipment when you need it.

Get a full breakdown of the results here.

Source: Interview Scheduling Survey 2017 | Cronofy Calendar API

About Cronofy

Cronofy connects HR software to users’ calendars via a unified calendar API.

To discover how calendar sync can save you and your users time and money, and help to hire the best candidates, watch our Real-Time Scheduling video.